De Profundis

De Profundis for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano, and Percussion (1999)
Premiered by Ensemble Music 99, CCM, 1999

Duration: 9 min.

De Profundis marks a conscious decision by Vega to explore the harmonic languages and compositional techniques in the tradition of Ligeti and Crumb. Two compositional elements unify the two-movement work: the systematic expansion of intervals and the juxtaposition of two tonal centers. The minor third, which opens the first movement, gradually expands to encompass the entire range of the piano. Likewise, the tonal centers of the first and second movements are a distant tritone apart. However, the second movement concludes with not only a return to the opening interval, but also to the original tonal center.

A clear timbral intention characterizes the work, such that each change of timbre is prepared by some musical event. Also, microcanonic techniques, reflective of Ligeti’s Lux Aeterna, mark important sections in each movement.

Notes written by Richard Berberian

Excerpt from "De Profundis"
Audio MP3

This recording: Ensemble Music 99, CCM, Mark Babbitt, conductor